Volume 96, Issue 89
Wednesday, March 19, 2003

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Criticism is not anti-Semitism

To the Editor:

Last week, Rep. Jim Moran, a Democrat from Virginia, was forced out of his leadership post [as a regional party whip], after a hue and cry over his remarks about the role of American Jews in a possible war with Iraq.

The remarks, interpreted by some as anti-Semitic, were condemned as "shocking" by the White House and labelled "offensive."

At a Mar. 3 antiwar forum in Reston, Virginia, outside Washington, Moran talked about why he felt the antiwar movement was not stronger in the United States than the rest of the world.

"If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this," Moran stated, his remarks initially reported in The Reston Connection. "The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should."

Why would a valid and honest statement by a [politician] be scorned upon and deemed anti-Semitic when its no secret that Israeli politicians have been publicly admitting that they are [relentlessly] backing the war on Iraq? There's nothing shocking about the Israeli agenda to push for war on Iraq.

How can Ari Fleischer, the White House Press Secretary, find the statements shocking? The U.S. has the backing of a dozen or so governments; it has the support of a majority of the people in only one country in the world – Israel.

It's sad to see that criticism of any Israeli agenda is labelled anti-Semitic; the phrase has lost its meaning and just seems to have become a generic response to any form of questioning concerning the motivations and actions of Israel.

Michael Mills
Political Science II

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